Observations: A band of two halves

Football is a game of two halves, and now a Mancunian quartet are releasing their debut album in two parts. Like many north-west brethren, Kid British, aptly named given their fresh-faced youthfulness, share an unhealthy interest in the beautiful game.

Not only have they called their album It Was This Or Football, last month they played at the launch of Manchester City's new strip, with classic designs that evoke the Seventies period when the Blues outshone their local rivals.

Later this month, the cheery bunch plan to put out six tracks of catchy ska-pop, with the remainder due to drop in the autumn. On the face of it, this is a dangerous move. Suppose fans buy the first half, then decide Kid British are not, after all, an album band?

At least they will have shifted some units, which for any group these days is a bonus. If anything, their strategy is indicative of the marginalisation of the album as a key format. Sure, the likes of Radiohead will still be judged by the career milestones of their iconic releases, but for Kid British's younger audience, this may be less of an issue. Without leading into a lecture on the withering of attention spans, a new generation of listeners are more comfortable taking in more digestible units and labels are taking note. Already, vacuous Atlanta hip-hop star Soulja Boy Tell 'Em has reconfigured his 17-track epic iSouljaBoyTellem into a more bearable half-dozen essentials. Kid British may not have excelled at school, but here prove able students.

'It Was This or Football: First Half' is out on 20 July on Mercury Records

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